SUEZANNE AWOTWI & VIDA BLACK
FOUNDERS OF BRIGHTSTARS
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The story of Brightstars begun with two lifelong friends coming together to provide a service which aimed to fill a gap in their community in regards to the provision of a creative centre for young people with autism.
Vida’s lovely son Claude has autism. When he turned 18 and left formal special needs education there was not much for him to do within his community. A couple of clubs that he attended could not cater for him anymore and the only one that did was on monthly basis. This lack of social interaction impacted adversely on Claude. He became withdrawn and irritable which had an adverse impact on his family. Vida spoke to Suezanne who has known Claude all his life and asked her to help. Suezanne was touched by Vida’s commitment to Claude and her vision to set up a club to support him and others who were in a similar postion.
After extensive research in the Hornsey area of London Borough of Haringey area, they identified the need for a club for young people with similar needs like Claude. They were parents and carers looking for somewhere safe and fun for their children, who had autism, to go to and have fun away from home.
With no resources, the two women used their personal savings to set up a club to provide a much-needed service in the community. Hence Brightstars was born on 1 February 2014 initially with 3 members and their parents. We are proud to report that we now have over 20 members and 30 parents, carers and supporters and have been awarded a charitable status by HMRC. We officially launched on 5th May 2018 in the presence of His Worshipful, Mayor of Haringey, Ghana High Commission Head of Welfare, Our Patrons and other dignitaries.
Click here for news on the launch. The Launch – 5th May 2018
We do need your support to be able to continue running the club, so do donate as much or as little as you can, we would be appreciative. Please see our contact page for more information on donations. MAKE A DONATION HERE
Thank you for reading our story
Suezanne Awotwi and Vida Black
Founders of Brightstars